lunes, abril 15

Arizona Attorney General announces Investigation into Gift Card Cloning Scam

PHOENIX – Attorney General Kris Mayes announced an ongoing investigation into an organized retail theft scheme related to gift card cloning.

On December 11, 2023, agents from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in partnership with the Arizona Retailers Association and with the help of law enforcement partners, seized thousands of cloned gift cards and other merchandise after serving search warrants and arresting eight individuals as part of an alleged scheme to defraud retailers and consumers.

«The agents and investigators that make up the Organized Retail Theft Task Force in the Attorney General’s Office have demonstrated our commitment to protecting Arizonans from fraud by uncovering this complex gift card cloning scam,» said Attorney General Mayes. «The successful seizure of thousands of cloned cards and the arrest of several individuals reflects my office’s unwavering dedication to stopping organized retail theft across Arizona.»

Gift card cloning happens when fraudsters take gift cards from stores, copy the magnetic strips, and return the copied gift cards to store shelves. When a consumer buys the card, the fraudster uses the copied magnetic strip to drain the funds leaving the consumer with a worthless card.

Consumers can avoid being defrauded by double-checking to ensure that the number on the back of any gift card matches the number on the receipt. If the numbers do not match, that is a sign the card has been cloned.

Consumers should also look for signs of tampering, such stickers placed over activation codes or damage to packaging or faint scratches on the card from being swiped through a card reader.

For extra precaution, consumers may consider purchasing gift cards stored behind the counter or near cash registers.

«I am grateful for the support the Arizona Retailer’s Association and our law enforcement partners provided to the Attorney General’s Office in this operation,” added Mayes. “Together, we will pursue and stop criminals engaged in these activities wherever they occur in our state.»

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud, you can file a complaint by visiting www.azag.gov/complaints/criminal. If you need a complaint form sent to you, contact the Attorney General’s Office at (602) 542-8888.